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Microsoft's New Attempt To Dominate Robotics

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the more-robots-in-more-places dept.

Microsoft 225

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that Microsoft's Robotics Group is announcing new world domination plans — at least for the robotics world. The company is making its Robotics Developer Studio (RDS), which includes Microsoft's CCR and DSS runtime toolkit, available to anyone for free. Why make it a freebie? Because the company wants to expand its RDS base and get a grip on the robotics development space, hoping big things will come out of it."

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225 comments

Wow... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287892)

Wow, that is one biased summary.

Re:Wow... (5, Insightful)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288048)

I will have to second the AC's opinion here...

We call this Business 101. Same reason Oracle kept java free...in the "goal" that its services would be desired later. (Keep Java popular and mainstream)

Why don't we just say we hate Apple, Microsoft, and all other corporations to be fair...or we can legitimately point out where corporations are unethical and not tolerate those acts and support good business practices (There are examples for Microsoft, Apple, etc. Every silver lining has a touch of gray). Plus why start complaining about free software, do you wish they charged for it?

Sorry for that rant...but this isn't front page new format, more flame-bait. As for creating software for robotics, I did find that interesting, thanks.

Re:Wow... (5, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288580)

Microsoft has a LONG LONG LONG history of doing all things legal and illegal to win market share. So dah, blindly thinking they are giving out the SDK free, as in beer, has a high probability it will not feel free or really be free if they win much market share. Look at how they handled the browser for a good example of how they work. They even tried making MS IE free but that wasn't working very well so they had to tie it to the OS, spread its bits all over the OS to fight orders to keep it separate, and even buy up Netscape contracts and pay companies for every unit shipped. And then they shipped a browser with many tied directly to proprietary features of only their platform.

So, dah, who would trust Microsoft to actually compete by making better products? Not too many who've seen them operate over the past 20+ years. If they are so good, let them sell API's which run on top of Linux. Oh wait, they die without the ties to Windows. IMO

LoB

Re:Wow... (1, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288676)

And it's that 'legal AND illegal' that worries some here. With one hand, Microsoft is openly doing something that is legal and will doubtless benefit some people. Given their history, what's the other hand doing? It's possible there isn't a concealed part of the overall process, but given that very same history, why is anyone in a rush to demand they get the benefit of our doubts? How many times does Microsoft have to demonstrate they have an ulterior motive, before everyone gets the memo?
      Giving away your browser is legal. Having a monopoly is, in itself, legal. Not prosecuting everyone who distributes bootleg copies to overseas markets is legal. But whether they all should be or not, all these things have tied in to Microsoft doing things that (surprise) aren't legal. Now some Slashdotters don't think Antitrust should be the law. Some disagree over just what constitutes an abusive monopoly. Some think Europe is some socialist psycho-state that simply targets bigness. But the laws are what they are. Proving the court cases Microsoft has already lost has taken establishing how MS has had hidden motives for various actions that look open and aboveboard. The hidden motives are now on the record. So why does someone always seem to demand the rest of us prove those methods and motives are coming up again, when after five or six good examples, the burden of proof ought to at least have shifted the other way?

Re:Wow... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288906)

Given their history, what's the other hand doing?

Building a secret underground army of robotic clone warriors to take over the world.

And who is Komar, King of the Voins? I've wondered that for years...

Re:Wow... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288636)

I will have to second the AC's opinion here...

We call this Business 101. Same reason Oracle kept java free...in the "goal" that its services would be desired later. (Keep Java popular and mainstream)

Why don't we just say we hate Apple, Microsoft, and all other corporations to be fair...or we can legitimately point out where corporations are unethical and not tolerate those acts and support good business practices (There are examples for Microsoft, Apple, etc. Every silver lining has a touch of gray). Plus why start complaining about free software, do you wish they charged for it?

Sorry for that rant...but this isn't front page new format, more flame-bait. As for creating software for robotics, I did find that interesting, thanks.

No charge /= free software.

Re:Wow... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288644)

Fuck you and fuck Microsoft. You can both eat shit and die. That company has shat on and retarded the entire computing industry for too long. And you know what? It's finally coming to an end. Between Google, Canonical, Apple, html5 and the rest of the open internet, we don't even need MS anymore so they can take their lock-in and their fucking "robots" and shove it all up their asses. Bring on the iPads, GoogleTV, Android, ChromeOS, Ubuntu and all of the rest! Exciting times for computing.

Re:Wow... (0)

Tom90deg (1190691) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288652)

I always find it...funny, shall we say, that if MS does something like this, it's because they're want to "Attempt To Dominate Robotics." But you can bet that if Google released a set of tools that do the EXACT same thing, people would be cheering, celebrating how Google is dedicated to open source, and then ignore how the software is constantly data-mining. Give the MS bashing a rest. Not only is it no longer true, it's dangerous, as just focusing on Microsoft leaves Google and Apple free to do whatever they want without any kind of check.

Re:Wow... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288692)

How is this one dedicated to open source? Sure, they threw some bits here and there; but can it even be run independently of MS OS? (that would a nice thing, on some small robot with "weak" non-x86 CPU)

Anyway, in robotics people seem to be wiser and this MS suite doesn't enjoy much uptake compared to fully free/OSS ones.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288724)

Give the MS bashing a rest. Not only is it no longer true,

You're living in a dream world, astroturfing motherfucker. MS has hell to pay for over 2 decades of sucking all of the oxygen out of the computing industry. Their shit is getting tired. A new version of Windows? *Yawn* Even their toadies like HP realize that's a sinking ship. So much for the slate. Actually, it's a damn shame it didn't get released, it would have been funny watching the apoplexy from you MS shills over the embarassment of its failure vs the iPad. And Windows Phone? Ha. Android is chewing you up and spitting you out. 7 is doing nothing new. I mean, other than bringing back the annoying pan around shit that I used to do on my 800x600 monitor back in the eighties to pretend that I had 1024x768. Really? That's the best you got?

Face it, MS stopped innovating a long time ago. It's time to pass the mantle on to a new generation. I vote for Google and I'm not the only one.

Re:Wow... (2, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288790)

Give the MS bashing a rest. Not only is it no longer true, it's dangerous, as just focusing on Microsoft leaves Google and Apple free to do whatever they want without any kind of check.

I agree with the spirit of your post, but certainly not this statement. It's 100% true.

Microsoft is a deeply shitty company, not because of the software it makes, but because of how it behaves in the larger community. Always has been. You are entirely correct to point out we should not give a Google/Apple a pass on ANYTHING just because they are not Microsoft, but let's not start rewriting Microsoft's dirty history to support that point either.

Point in fact, Apple worries me a lot more than Microsoft at this point with it's shiny walled garden approach and holier than thou attitudes, and Google worries me with it's, "let's record and store everything and sort out all the ethics later" approach. Not to mention, Google does some pretty dirty things, but just does it with company names they acquired. *cough* FaceBook *cough*.

Considering how Microsoft has handled some things like IE, the fear about how the same thing would happen in Robotics is quite valid, and the logic is not based in simplistic Microsoft bashing.

But it has a basis in the business model. (3, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288078)

They offer Internet Explorer for free undercutting Netscape's business model. They offer Outlook with a pretty user GUI and integrated with Office to push users to ask for Exchange. An email program that's easy to setup the first 50 users, but a nightmare for large corporations. Active Directory simplifies an all Windows environment, but mangles LDAP so you have to jump through hoops to add any other desktop to the environment. Sharepoint is really cool and easy to setup until you have to set controls and expand it enterprise wide. RDS is cool for simulating robotic programming and could be nice for education, but you'll end up with something that's easy to get started with, but a nightmare to really implement.

Re:But it has a basis in the business model. (5, Insightful)

The Spoonman (634311) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288250)

An email program that's easy to setup the first 50 users, but a nightmare for large corporations.

Really? Every Exchange implementation I've been on in the last 15 years (starting at 1000, 5000, 9000 & my current job @ 15,000 users) has been just as "install and forget" as the first @ 200 users. Perhaps you're just doing it wrong?

Re:But it has a basis in the business model. (4, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288478)

Clearly you are a troll. Your anecdotal, uncited evidence was obviously inferior to the parent's anecdotal, uncited evidence. ;)

Re:But it has a basis in the business model. (2, Informative)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288714)

Perhaps you have been really really REALLY lucky?

I hate Exchange with a passion that is hard to put into words. The attempt to express my feelings for it is best done by quoting Khan, "from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"

I had nothing but problems with corrupting Exchange stores, failing services, installation compatibility issues, etc. Of course you can blame the server admin and just claim I did not have the skills or the understanding, despite working with Microsoft tech my whole life and computers before Microsoft even pushed out Windows 3.11 for Workgroups.

Getting modded informative is really just accessory to flamebait on the GP. Problems with Exchange are well known, and *most* people I know view it as a major pain in the ass to support.

However, you can go right ahead and claim operator error......

fixed it for you (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288572)

They offer Internet Explorer for free adopting Netscape's business model.

nope you didn't (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288668)

Netscape charged for it's browser until MS started bundling IE with Windows.

Re:nope you didn't (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288898)

Not true. It was initially cost-free for non-commercial use although Netscape kept changing its policy and reneged on its promises.

Re:Wow... (0, Troll)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288474)

No it isn't, that's the way Microsoft has worked in the past and how they try to assimilate other markets. The same happened with Windows 95 - it got given away as a near freebie on all computers and even hardware components (hard drives would come preinstalled with Windows 95). The same happened with SQL Server - nobody was using it when they took it over from Sybase, they got people hooked by giving away a free version of it.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288520)

Giving the stuff away for free, and trying to make money somwhere else. Hmm, how is that any diffrent from pretty much every product that google puts out? This is a SUPER biased summary, quit the MS bashing people, it's just not true anymore. I love /. but I'm really getting sick of the 10+ articles about the next apple product that are on here pretty much every day, and all the MS bashing that is going on all the time.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288684)

Hello, and welcome to slashdot.

API! (3, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287894)

If they combine it with a similarly good API as XNA is and get hardware support, that's great.

Coding robotics has previously required a lot of low level coding. Who of us haven't though how great it would be code your own robot easily, and make it work just like you want it to, without going to all the low level details?

Re:API! (1, Flamebait)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287990)

Great. So where can i download the version for Ubuntu? Anyone with half a brain would continue to stay far away from anything from Microsoft, you always end up paying dearly in the end.

Re:API! (1)

upyourshomo (1803732) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288400)

Great. So where can i download the version for Ubuntu? Anyone with half a brain would continue to stay far away from anything from Microsoft, you always end up paying dearly in the end.

Translation: "Waaaaah! Microsoft is doing something cool again. Only people who use *anythingotherthanwindows* should be allowed to do cool things with a computer!"

Re:API! (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288484)

you always end up paying dearly in the end.

I haven't yet. When does "always" happen?

Or is this similar to what I hear from the other side: stay far away from anything having to do with Linux, you'll always end up not being able to do what you want to do in the end.

(or have trouble configuring, or whatever).

Re:API! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288624)

Since we're all just citing our own anecdotal experiences, here's mine: having done extensive development on both windows and non-windows platforms (Linux, various Unixes, and OS X), windows is the worst to work with on a variety of levels.

If I go with Microsoft's software, I'm stuck with Microsoft for basically everywhere the code needs to run. I can move non-windows (unixy) code more or less everywhere and get it to work with minimal tweaking; and, contrary to the complaints of random slashdotters, with Java, I can basically write one app and deploy it across containers from different vendors. There's nothing microsoft can offer that comes close to that level of flexibility and platform independence. And, no, mono doesn't count, and you're a fucktard if you mention it.

And that independence might not be so valuable a feature if the products from Microsoft didn't have such a longstanding history of sucking dick. .NET just kinda blows; at least with Java there's multiple vendors and a crapassload of high quality open source projects that I can reuse. .NET has nothing even in the same galaxy of utility or quality.

And, FWIW, i've also successfully developed and deployed applications on multiple platforms (non-windows) using Python and C++. With fairly minimal care, it's easy to get stuff working everywhere and not tie myself to MS.

Nothing MS provides comes close to that level of convenience and freedom, and there's nothing they offer that compensates for the loss.

Re:API! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288718)

you always end up paying dearly in the end.

I haven't yet. When does "always" happen?

Or is this similar to what I hear from the other side: stay far away from anything having to do with Linux, you'll always end up not being able to do what you want to do in the end.

(or have trouble configuring, or whatever).

Funny, I've never found myself unable to do what I want with Linux, aside from gaming.

Re:API! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288492)

Plus why would limit yourself to only handful of supported prebuilt robots. Or to how MS software is limiting their use? (will it even run independently of a PC with Windows?)

Re:API! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288598)

you know what ubuntu stands for in swahili? "i can't configure slackware."

Re:API! (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288844)

No it doesn't, troll. It actually stands for "I'd like a nice pleasant and attractive Linux experience out of the box that I don't have to dick with for 3 weeks to get it set up." And, you know what? It succeeds stupendously. So take your childish, Ubuntu is for noobs trolling elsewhere, thank you.

Re:API! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288918)

And anyone with no brain would make such a comment. Why don't you just put "I hate microsoft" in your sig so when you want to post you just hit "reply > preview > submit" and done.

Re:API! (0, Troll)

ZigiSamblak (745960) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288164)

I see a future where MS bots will only talk to other MS bots. I for one welcome our new wall-crashing overlords.

Re:API! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288792)

I see a future where MS bots will only talk to other MS bots.

I think you're confusing MS Bots talking with other MS Bots with MS Zune's Squirting feature ... on the other hand, maybe they're one and the same?

Re:API! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288316)

Coding robotics has previously required a lot of low level coding.

It really hasn't, you know. Lego Mindstorms, for instance, has a host [wikipedia.org] of different languages to choose from, ranging from the very high-level graphical to pure assembly code.

I can't fathom why you'd want to put a Windows operating system in a robot, it seems like a pure exercise in needless licensing costs. Even DOS would be better. Then again, I can't fathom why anyone would put Windows on a data logger either, but that doesn't seem to have stopped anyone.

Microsoft's robotics squad is also clearly a gang of zombies, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Re:API! (1)

WeirdJohn (1170585) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288780)

Coding robotics has previously required a lot of low level coding. Who of us haven't though how great it would be code your own robot easily, and make it work just like you want it to, without going to all the low level details?

Yeah, it'd be really innovative if you could program robots in a language like, for instance, smalltalk..... oh, did I hear the 1980's calling?

Next apple will get into robotics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287898)

And well only be one step away from the movie iRobot

iRobot (4, Funny)

copponex (13876) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288120)

DUDE: Robot, grab me a beer.
iROBOT: I'm sorry, Steve says those are bad for you.
DUDE: What the fuck?
iROBOT: Would you like some water with a splash of lemon instead?
DUDE: No, I just want have a beer and play a little... where is my Halo 5?
iROBOT: There was a cutscene that showed a nipple, so it has been discarded. I have replaced it with "Yoga For Everyone." Would you like me to show you some poses? We can...
DUDE: No, please, go ahead and get started with out me. I'm just going to go find this receipt I've been looking for...

Re:iRobot (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288338)

DUDE: Robot, grab me a beer.
iROBOT: I'm sorry, Steve says those are too fattening for you.
DUDE: What the fuck would Steve recommend, then?
iROBOT: Apple martini.

Re:iRobot (2, Funny)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288544)

You're doing it wrong:

DUDE: Robot, grab me a beer.
iROBOT: I'm sorry, Steve says those are bad for you.
DUDE: Robot, sudo grab me a beer.
iROBOT: One beer coming up, master.

Re:iRobot (4, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288728)

You're still doing it wrong - this is Windows after all.

DUDE: Robot, grab me a beer.
iROBOT: I'm sorry, Steve says those are bad for you.
DUDE: Robot, runas /user:Administrator grab me a beer.
iROBOT: iRobot has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.


.

Where can I get a robot? (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287906)

Great, so where can I get a cheap compatible robot and what kind of stuff can I program it to do?

Also, http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/tech/asr/intelligent-robotics/nasa-vision-workbench/ [nasa.gov] looks pretty damn cool.

Re:Where can I get a robot? (4, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288466)

Great, so where can I get a cheap compatible robot and what kind of stuff can I program it to do?

These are MSDN sites.

So be prepared for information overload.

Microsoft Robotics: 3rd Party Hardware [microsoft.com]

Microsoft Robotics Developer Center [microsoft.com]

This page is an introduction to robotic simulation, with some nice screen shots of the VSE sample environments: Simulation Overview [microsoft.com]

Re:Where can I get a robot? (3, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288638)

This list seems more tidy [wikipedia.org]. And just below with links to fully free software with which MS tries to compete via this release, probably (doesn't mention one...worth mentioning [wikipedia.org])

Hey, in this case the users are small in numbers and "geeky" so typical MS adoption rules should not apply. OTOH parent poster seems specifically inspired by this MS release (and its promises) in asking for a robot to play with...

Hasta La Vista (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287914)

Sounds like a plan to me.

When the robot uprising starts, there'll be a million ways to crash the fuckers.

Re:Hasta La Vista (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288028)

"Must kill all humans.. Error.. please reboot me"

Re:Hasta La Vista (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288058)

Hasta La Vista
Best pun I've seen in hours

Re:Hasta La Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288464)

As one of the developers of freedroidRPG [sourceforge.net], I'm getting a kick out of this.

bad quote (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287932)

"...hoping big things will come out of it"

Does Microsoft make anything that isn't slow, bloated, and fully integrated into skyne--I mean .NET?

Re:bad quote (4, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287982)

"Does Microsoft make anything that isn't slow, bloated, and fully integrated into skyne--I mean .NET?"

Notepad.

Not only free as in beer! (5, Insightful)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287956)

From the article:

In addition to creating a single RDS release, the robotics group is also making the source code of selected program samples and other modules available online, hoping to improve collaboration among users. In particular, Microsoft wants to entice the growing community of hobbyists, do-it-yourselfers, and weekend robot builders.

They are releasing code. Which is worth mentioning in the summary, since we are talking about Microsoft. Obviously they are not opening the whole thing, because after they extend, they want to make money, but still it is interesting.

A Roboticist's Perspective (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287958)

Microsoft, Go Fuck Yourself!

More seriously, we do everything on Linux and occasionally VxWorks or QNX. MSWindows is far too crippled and painful

Success breeds success! (1, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288018)

Good on MS for building on their twenty years of technical marketing triumphs like the MS mouse, the wavy keyboard, the Zun... ah... did I mention the mouse?

Get a grip (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288032)

>"Why make it a freebie? Because it wants to expand its RDS base and get a grip"

No! Really? MS wants to offer something "free" for the purpose of dominating some market? I just can't believe it!! I bet it can't possibly benefit them in some way.

Re:Get a grip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288162)

The DoJ better start saving up for the next big court case.
Eventually they'll be forced to unbundle IrobotExplorer from sales of killing machines.

Re:Get a grip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288212)

Yeah, it is kind of a shame that the jackoffs around here don't understand competition.

But if this were someone like RMS talking about getting into a new market they'd be claiming that it was the natural order of things and only made sense.

The joke has come true! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288098)

"The day Microsoft makes a product that doesn't suck is the day they start making (robotic) vacuum cleaners."

Toy Robots (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288116)

"Consumer robotics is a new product category and building [applications] there requires leveraging the capabilities and inspiration of a broader community," he says. "This is exactly what we want to do.

I'm sorry, but consumer robotics is not real robotics. Consumer robotics is toy robotics because anything other than toy robots, when operated by Joe or Jane Consumer, can kill people.

--
BMO

2 year old technology (4, Informative)

figleaf (672550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288140)

Robotics studio was made a paid product 2 years ago.
Looks like they did not get enough buyers and its being offered for free now!
And looks like it hasn't been updated in last few years.

Regarding CCR, .Net 4.0 has made vast improvements in multi-core API.
I don't see how much relevant CCR will be given the release of Task Parallel Library (TPL) for .Net and ConCRT for C++

Industrial Robotics Manufacturers ... (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288148)

ABB [abb.com] and MotoMan [motoman.com] are quaking in their boots.

Seriously, does anyone use Microsoft's Robotics Products? for anything industrial?

Another example... (1, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288218)

... of Microsoft trying to stay relevant. Will it succeed? The answer will be found in how many gullible people remain on the Blue Marble.

.

Will Microsoft suck the innovation and profits out of the robotics industry in the same manner they sucked the innovation and profits out of the PC industry? Will the use of Microsoft's development environment environment force you to slow down your innovation to the level that Microsoft wants to accommodate?

Stay tuned to /. for updates..................

Re:Another example... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288618)

"Will Microsoft suck the innovation and profits out of the robotics industry in the same manner they sucked the innovation and profits out of the PC industry?"

Sure, because before MS came along there was all kinds of innovation and profit in the PC industry. Which is pretty amazing since there was no IBM PC before MS came along.

Re:Another example... (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288704)

Of course not. But there sure was a pretty viable *PERSONAL COMPUTER* industry. Apple and Commodore owned the PERSONAL COMPUTER industry, and golly, it was even big enough for a couple of geeks in a garage to start a company, and then go public.

Why do people keep thinking Microsoft is the only thing in this world?!

Re:Another example... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288940)

You are ignoring context (a common problem around here).

If someone posts that MS "sucked the innovation and profits out of the PC industry" do you think they're referring to Commodore or Radio Shack? If the initials PC refer to all personal computers what was the point of those Apple advertisements "I'm a Mac", "I'm a PC"?

Sounds like bad news to me (3, Insightful)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288274)

Didn't RTFA, but I'm assuming that the main idea here is lock-in to MS products and technologies. That means it'll be harder to share work and ideas down the road because of artificial dependencies on MS to run the code, etc. Hopefully folks in the field will hold their ground and build their work on top of open, sharable, neutral platforms

Re:Sounds like bad news to me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288554)

Didnt read your post, but it sounds to me like you're a faggot and should shut up until you know what you're talking about.

Nice summary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288330)

By the summary's logic, Linus Torvalds must be the next Dr. Evil, because he's been giving away Linux for over a decade.

Re:Nice summary (2, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288946)

Linus doesn't give Linux for free, he's giving it for Free. Meaning, you can do what ever you like with Linux and it's source code.

If MS would be opening up the code for everyone under an open license, that would be news. But until that, it's just a marketing gag to get a foot in a new market.

Summary is Ridiculous Bullshit. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288336)

Honestly people, there are more than enough valid reasons to dislike MS without adding imaginary ones. TFS takes the free release of what's probably at least nifty and interesting software and turns it into an irrelevant blurb about "world domination". As far as I can tell, MS dominates two (closely related) industries: home/office desktop and laptop OSes and utilities, and office software. They have also entered into many other markets, sometimes producing good products, sometimes bad, but never really getting the necessary leverage to "dominate" other, often better competitors for long. (e.g. Xbox, Zune, hotmail, Silverlight, Windows Mobile, Windows Server, even IE at this point.) I'm sure there is no shortage of asshats who go with MS simply because of an easy contract, but I'd like to think that robotics engineers and researchers aren't among them. If the tools are solid, great. If not, no one will care.

Seriously. Hate on MS because of sleazy monopoly abuse. Hate on them for releasing disappointing public-beta style software. But the sort of hyperbolic nonsense on the frontpage makes *NIXers look like unbalanced zealots.

Re:Summary is Ridiculous Bullshit. (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288576)

Perhaps years of technologies like COM and ActiveX and .NET and tools ilike VisualStudio or the SQL Server management tools have shown us what to expect. And those are just some of the 20% of their technologies that have WON, not the 80% that dropped into oblivion within two years of being announced.


Here's what I expect:
Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all...

Re:Summary is Ridiculous Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288814)

What I meant was, there's no reason to turn a software release into an irrelevant flame. As I said, if it sucks, no one will care about it. Given that it's MS, I'd say the odds are excellent that it WILL suck.

As to your reply, I get your drift, but I think you're overstating it a bit. Specifically:

COM- not familiar with it.

ActiveX- maybe true 5-7 years ago, but the combination of non-MS browsers and security concerns have made it anything but dominant on the web. .NET- has plenty of alternatives, you don't HAVE to use it for anything I can think of

VisualStudio- an IDE. Not the best or the worst I've ever seen. The main IDE for Windows development, like Xcode on OS X or KDevelop for KDE. Makes sense to me.

SQL- Probably the worst offender you mention, but then, the nitty-gritty of databases always seems a little obtuse to me. Besides, SQL has been copied up and down to the point where you can find a DB that better suits your purposes.

In short, often you MUST use Windows or Office, but for anything else you've almost always got choices. I'd rather see if it's any good or not before making any judgments.

Re:Summary is Ridiculous Bullshit. (1, Troll)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288910)

I think you sort of missed my point. COM, ActiveX and .NET as examples of the insane, overbloated, byzantine, crufty, heinous APIs that we can expect, and VisualStudio and SQL Server management tools as examples of the lame, bloated, convoluted, script-free, REPEATABILITY-free, non-portable (even between like systems) developer/management tools we can expect. In other words, kool-aid lock-in at its finest.

Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288396)

It's just Microsoft's normal strategy.
Embrace, extend, EX-TER-MIN-ATE!

Re:Business as usual (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288660)

It's actually "Embrace, extend and extinguish".

Its origin is a matter of dispute, but everyone agrees that the DOJ used it to describe their view of MS's strategy with respect to competitors.

What market exists? (1)

cozytom (1102207) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288496)

I've built many robots, (Hero-1, other homebuilt ones, etc). I've been involved with robot clubs since the early 80s. Very little has changed!

My first robot was run off a parallel card plugged into my Heathkit H-8. simple h-bridge some bumpers, and I was set. worked pretty good but the dang cord was a problem.

The next robot had an on board Z80 processor. It also had a CRT and a dozen batteries. It weighed a ton, used relays and transistors to control the motor.

The Hero had an on board 6809 (I guess one of the accessories had a second 6800 I think, so technically it was 2).

I used various 8 bitters for many other robots, always trying to solve the power problem, finding more and more efficient processors, so I could use less battery.

I switched to a tinyboard (8088) for one, it ran DR-DOS, and turbo pascal!

Even the handyboard processor was good, and has a great library (interactive C).

Basic stamps have come and gone for various projects.

Aurdrino's are pretty current.

Which one of the above processors will run anything from M$? I don't think any. Right, all 8 bit processors. I see very few robots with more than an 8 bitter even in the 21st century!

Someone needs to convince the robot builders to switch to 32 bit processors (ARM, maybe beagle board, or anything else) and then there *might* be a market for an OS that runs robots. Trouble is, it'll be Linux or Android running it, since the robot builders are a little more scrappy.

 

Re:What market exists? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288764)

industrial robots have been used for 25+ years for loading and unloading stamping presses, welding and cutting, machining, etc.

this is of kind of robot that is fastened in one place, of course, not walking around. but doing real useful work.

and for at least the last 15 years most have been controlled using MS Windows anyway....

Give stuff away = still evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288546)

So you jerks preach open source like its the friggin communist manifesto but when microsoft starts giving stuff away you spin it so they still look like jerks. Did microsoft bang your mom?

Re:Give stuff away = still evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288694)

Any neighborhood pusher will tell you - the first one's always free.

Re:Give stuff away = still evil? (2, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288806)

mucking foron - did you see what microsoft did to its last attempt at putting out open source stuff? just killed it not too long ago. so... sure, yeah, whatever.

Re:Give stuff away = still evil? (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288812)

As with most religions, F/OSS zealots like what they like and hate what they hate without regard to fundamental principles.

So long nightmares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288730)

Good bye fears of The Matrix being played out successfully

30years waiting for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288744)

I, for one, would never spend money on anything to help me program a robot that I don't even have today, but for 30 years I've dreamed of being able to get some cheap hardware off the shelf and program my own robot to do something...anything... Maybe this is a good step and some of the basher on this page should take the time to try what MS is giving away for free and see if it has any value. If it's worth about a buck, its still something for nothing.

When a M$ exec came to our software house, (0, Troll)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288852)

in championing .NET over J2EE he opined that 'we believe something is worth what you pay for it'. Guess that means their robotics dev kit is worthless now...
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